PORTLAND, Ore. -- There are some fabulous restaurants in this town, and the Warriors ought to find two of the best for Draymond Green.
Put a crown on his head and treat him to a bountiful Sunday brunch. Then a trip to the spa. Offer a limo ride to the Oregon wine region to sample some of the state’s finest Pinot Noirs.
And then, if he wants, buy him the finest dinner available.
That might begin to sufficiently thank Green for his work Saturday night, leading the Warriors to a 110-99 victory over the Trail Blazers in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals, and putting his signature on this game and doing the same on this series.
“I don’t even know what to say about Draymond,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr marveled afterward. “He was like a wrecking ball out there. He was destroying everything in his path. The pace that he was generating was incredible. And it just seemed like he never got tired.”
Green’s numbers bark out a triple-double: 20 points, 13 rebounds, 12 assists. His other numbers whisper impact: Four steals, one block.
Yet the numbers barely begin to convey the way he dictated the action at both ends. He lifted the spirit and energy of his teammates while crushing any chance of the Blazers finding a path to victory.
All with barely a whimper of protest, much less the demonstrative conduct Green so often directs toward officials.
“I still like to pick and choose my spots,” Green said of his interaction with officials. “Sometimes I may take a tech, but that’s more mindful than just getting a tech. Sometimes I know like, all right, I need an energy boost, so maybe I’ll take one.
"But sometimes I’m not mindful and I’ll get a tech, and that will just kill the energy of our team. I’ve really been focused and locked in on that, and I realized I got to a point where I was doing more crying than playing. I’m sure it was disgusting to watch because I felt disgusting playing that way.
“I just wanted to lock back in on the game.”
The result is a new Draymond, and he’s even better than the Draymond of, well, last month.
“I just know he’s playing unbelievably well right now,” Kerr said. “He’s playing with force. He’s playing with discipline. He’s playing under control. He’s not letting anything bother him -- officials, bad shots, turnovers ... he’s just moving on to the next play.”
If it appears Green is playing at a different speed, faster than his teammates or the opposition, it’s because he usually is. He’s grabbing rebounds and taking off on a fast break, sometimes solo and sometimes with wing men. He’s defending the paint one second, and then closing out a perimeter shooter the next.
“It’s like he’s got eight eyeballs,” Stephen Curry said. “He sees everything and kind of knows what to say at the right time.”
Green is counseling Jordan Bell after the second-year forward botched a breakaway dunk attempt, consulting with Kerr on play calls and reads, listening to video coordinator James Laughlin’s suggestion about leading the reserves, feeding perfect dimes to his big men, dominating Portland’s big men and doing it without pausing to exhale.
With Kevin Durant out, along with DeMarcus Cousins, Green has taken it upon himself to seek an even higher level for his typical role of rock-ribbed leadership and boundless energy.
“My objective now is to win as many games right now as we possibly can to get those guys back,” Green said. “When we have Steph, Klay, KD and DeMarcus, I don’t need to play like that.
“As crazy as it sounds, somebody has to give up something when you have that many guys who are capable doing what they are doing. I take it upon myself to be the guy to give that up. I think I’m playing great right now, but I’m not the scorer that any of those four guys are.”
Green is bringing everything except his 3-point shot to this series -- and to this postseason. He’s shooting 52 percent from the field, with 9.7 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game. In this series, he’s shooting 54.3 percent, with 11.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists.
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Those are but numbers, though, and using numbers to illustrate the way Green imposes himself on games is like using popularity to measure talent. He does things that transcend statistics.
On a night when Curry and Thompson combined to shoot 41.3 percent and Andre Iguodala played less than 18 minutes, one of the stars had to bear the burden. Green did. He deserves any reward he gets.